Here’s all the beer- and pub-related news and opinion that grabbed our attention in the last week, from careers advice to craft beer on the fringes.
Writing for the Guardian an Anonymous insider provided an insight into the day-to-day experience of working in brewing for those considering a career change:
When I was job-hunting, a large craft brewery was advertising an entry-level position… Mostly… I had to clear out the mash tun, which involves digging two tonnes of hot, wet malt from a confined space. It’s like mining for porridge in an underground sauna.
SOURCE: Mr Pepys’ Small Change.
In a long scholarly post the Anonymous author of the Mr Pepys’ Small Change blog attempts to track down exactly who issued a particular trade token in 17th Century London:
The token’s issue date is not stated in its legend. However, on stylistic grounds it arguably dates from the 1650s or early 1660s. What is clear from the token’s design is the business address of its issuer, i.e. at the sign of the Three Tuns “against the Great Conduit in Cheapside”. This places the token’s issuing location in the heart of the parish of St. Mary Colechurch in the vicinity of the Mercers’ Hall, close to where Cheapside meets Poultry.
The York Press has the results of a survey of the city’s pubs covering the range of beers available, their prices, and which are most popular: for the first time, John Smith’s cask has been bumped off the top spot; and there’s something grimly inevitable about the appearance of Sharp’s Doom Bar in top five.
for Eater Joshua M. Bernstein reflects on the importance of ‘house brews’:
In a world of promiscuous drinking, in which we one-night stand with beers before swiftly bouncing to the next, stocking house beer is a commitment to monogamy… There’s comfort in carbonated familiarity, no matter its form. Maybe it’s a tropical IPA or snappy pilsner, or a stout that you can’t do without. Buy a six-pack, buy a case—you know, just in case a couple friends unexpectedly swing by. Consider it a hedge against that most heinous of crimes, the empty fridge.
Brewery takeover news: Terrapin Beer Company, based in Athens, Georgia, USA, has been bought by MillerCoors. You could read a straight press release or, far better, just check out Jeff Alworth’s generic fill-in-the-blanks brewery takeover announcement:
Expression of Delight in Finding the Perfect Buyer
“Bringing [ __________ ] on allowed us to get to know each other better and realize the incredible potential of becoming a majority-owned partner with [ __________ ] ,” said [ __________ ] , co-founder and vice president of brewing development. “With [ __________ ] ‘s dedication to helping us grow and their passion for creating high-quality craft beers, we knew it would be the perfect partnership. We look forward to continuing to create innovative beers to share with beer lovers nationwide.”
Beer distributor Yvan Seth has set out a challenge to UK brewers, bars and beer writers: let’s not tolerate poor handling and storage of beer in transit and let’s collectively educate consumers to demand better (link to Facebook). That prompted an interesting response from Dave S:
[If] I’m going to pay top dollar for beers at a self-proclaimed craft beer bar, I’d like to be able to look at their website and see a note above their tap list reassuring me that all of these beers are going to be in perfect condition because the keg beer has barely been out of coldstore from the moment it left the fermenter to the moment it comes out of the tap. I’d also see when the hoppy stuff was kegged, too, so I’d know that it wasn’t some months old keg they picked up for cheap. I wouldn’t expect this from every village pub, but if you’re going to charge me six quid a pint then I want to see some justification.
Remember when we wrote fretting about the viability of small town craft beer bars but didn’t name names? Well, one of the names we weren’t naming, Moo Bar, has had one of its branches repossessed. The local news story gives their side of the story; for balance, here’s something from Twitter, of which there is plenty more to be found:
Finally, a change of state to note: the new Pubs Code, due in May but delayed because of bureaucratic errors, has finally come into force. This gives publicans the right to pay pub companies an increased ‘market rent’ for their properties in exchange for freedom from the tie on supply of goods.